From the New Zealand TV Weekly. November 7, 1966


Erstwhile Aucklander Tony Thomson is getting his toes under the TV table in Britain. Latest word is that he is directing the This Week in Britain programmes for C.I.O. Rae Pritchard, the compere—or should it be co-mere?—is an old friend of Tony and wife Bev. Indeed, the Thomson family has a flat in the East Molesey house of Rae’s sister Noelene, who formerly ran the session... Bryan Ashbridge switched back to his life’s enthusiasm rapidly recently when he took leave to take over Russell Kerr’s job with the N.Z. Ballet Company when the latter was ill.... For once, the studios are relatively free of a clutter of carpenters. With the amount which has been spent on AKTV2’s building, plus the drastic re-hashing of the main broadcasting building, plus the various other rented premises into which the NZBC has spread, it would have seemed more sensible to have made a start on permanent buildings on the North Shore site set aside for an NZBC complex... Long-time hobby of producer Bute Hewes paid off for an anniversary piece on 1066 and All That. He is a Bayeux Tapestry student and had most of the necessary knowledge in his noggin for the show ... Local producers who were taken-to Wellington for a quick session with visiting expert Lou Hazam decided that their problems were the same as those of their American counterparts, if rather scaled down in size.... Inclusion of more filmed material in the late telly news is a popular innovation. Now what about a Sunday night "filmed news of the week" re-cap?


NZBC has not decided yet whether it will mount The Family Game again next year. Remembering that this was the first local show of its kind, the corporation may well revive it. Certainly everyone connected with it reckons much was learned. Despite the views of some critics, who regarded it as a flop, producer, Chris Bourn and his assistant Beverley Birch can point to the stacks of letters they got from viewers—8,000 one week, and a total of more than 65,000. Selwyn Toogood did not quite have the light touch of his radio series, but he showed all his old aplomb when it came to a crisis—and The Family Game seemed to have more than its share of crises. Chris Bourn is now working on The Golden Disc programme. WNTV1 news reader and announcer Erin Sinchair is to compere ..... Producer Brian Bell meanwhile is making some progress with his plans for a series of New Zealand television plays. Commissions have been accepted by Alexander Guyan, Bruce Mason, Ian Cross, Errol Brathwaite, David Ballantyne, Sylvia Ashton- Warner, Arthur Jones. Brian has many problems yet to overcome before he gets his plays before the cameras, but the rollcall of writers suggests that television drama in this country could come of age..... Viewers who lament that Steptoe and Son are no more (and authors Simpson and Galton say they are written dry) can be reassured that the recent series will almost certainly be repeated, quite soon.


Christchurch viewers watched Town and Around with even more than usual interest during the week following the literary luncheon which marked the opening of New Zealand Book Week. Reason was guest speaker Austin Mitchell had some critical things to say about the NZBC as well as New Zealand books and authors. But viewers waited in vain. More than a week elapsed before word came out that the film would ‘have been very messy. But around town the general opinion was Mitchell’s comments were too embarrassing for the hyper-sensitive NZBC .... CHTV3’s sports team sent a congratulatory message to Cosmo Davis, formerly Canterbury sports officer, on his Wills Six-hour car race coverage at Pukekohe. Dick Allard reckoned it was one of the best sports spots to come out of Auckland for some time and local car racing enthusiasts reckoned the film and commentary were pretty good too..... Local sports followers delighted to learn that the NZBC’s southern regional programme advisory committee is already pushing for better coverage of the Mexico Olympics than they had to put up with at the Jamaica Commonwealth Games ..... Sympathetic viewers must have warmed to the manager of the local food factory who got in a good plug for the company’s products during CHTV3’s on-the-spot coverage of the fire that gutted the Papanui premises ..... Successor to the Rev. M. Underhill, who will become Dean of Christ- church next month, as Vicar of St Barnabas’, Fendalton, will be the Rev. R. A. Lowe. He is Christchurch adult education adviser for the Christchurch Anglican Diocese, missioner, author and youth leader, but probably best known to many people as Bob Lowe, the CHTV3 cricket commentator.


Good to see the local Town and Around has a sense of humour about the criticism that appeared in this publication some weeks ago, But we just hope that in proving that Town and Around have some “bite" by taking a mouthful of the magazine, Charles Joye did not damage his teeth on Diana Rigg’s leather jack on the opposite page! ..... Nagging Is not pleasant, but sometimes it’s the only way to eradicate something even more unpleasant. Yet, despite all manner of carping and complaint from the public—individual critics, letters to the paper, etc.-there has been no change in Dunedin’s TV weather reports nor in the theme which introduces them. Official explanation is that Dunedin has no facilities for expanded weather news such as given on the other channels, but even if we accept this excuse, surely there is some way of jazzing up the present sparse information. One morning spent with a few bright heads together should be all that’s needed to dream up a new theme and a more inspiring presentation. ... Roy Melford’s chattels, when he transferred from Dunedin to Wellington, included a presentation pewter beer mug, plus a silver tray inscribed "DNTV2". There is no actual replacement for him (as so often happens with NZBC’s unique system of transfers) but sports producer Brian Ault will, in the meantime, assume Roy’s duties as chief producer here.

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